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years of hearing the stories the president grading everything, grading people. always wanting to be the best, even at small pursuits like bowling. there's a lot of advantage to this, the fact he worked so hard at everything that he wants to be the best is an admirable quality. that's part of what gave him the confidence to run for the president sivment yet there can also be a down side. >> he spent 10 years of his early life trying to figure himself out. all of the contradictions the world through at him. from the time he left hawaii at the age of 18 until the time he went to harvard law school at 28. very introspective. that period he did figure himself gave him the satisfied to get to the whiteouse >> charlie:when we continue this evening the two political parties with e.j. dionne and dan balz of the washington post. >> i think this election is more
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fundamental choice than we've seen in a very long time. maybe it's not unlike the gold water campaign. out there with a very hard position but the republicans have a advantage this time that goldwater didn't have. obama has a bad ee economy. we. >> charlie:we can included withra truth is this election is going to be can decided by the main stream, people dead center who believe in a right of center economic approach and leave us alone on social issues. they're closer to barack obama on social and closer to mitt romney on economic issues. so they' torn. >> there's a difference betweend actually said, i don't care. i will follow this on election da that's it. the problem is neither candidate is speaking to them in the way
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they want to be spoken to or talking to them, the words that they want to hear. >> charlie:march inas balances and tee i don't know and frank when we continue. >> funding provided by the following. >> charlie:additionalg
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provid bythat funders: >> charli captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. the special edition of charlie rose. >> this evening we continue our coverage of the democratic national convention from charlotte, north carolina. day one of the convention kicked off speeches from the first lady and new york mare corey booker. an you'llian castro. president obama spent the day campaigning in norfolk virginia. he will address the delegates thursday evening. two reporters have written
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extensively about barack and mish efl jodi kantor and author of the "obamas" author barack obama the sry. i am meesed to have them both here on this program this evening. welcome. >> charlie:let me start with you, jodi. tell who is barack obama. you have written a piece about both of them. and his piece is about the competitiveness of him. >> we thought he might be a deliberative professor of a president. we might see that mellow hawaiian quality. we have seen that for sheumplet he turns out to be this super competitive perfectist. the story wrote came outof years ofhearg ese stories the president grading everything, graying people. always wanting to be the best, even at small pursuits like bowling and look, there's a lot of advantage to this, the fact that he worked so hard at
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everything that he weants to be the best is an admirable quality. it's part of what gave him the kfd to run for the presidency and yet there can also be a down side. the question is did he overestimate. >> charlie:his own abaibility. >> and that is what e romney campaign is arguing. he made promises he couldn't dplifer on. >> charlie:he's overconfident in terms of what he could do. >> he wanted to be not just president but a transformational president even though he had very little washington experience, economic experience, managerial experience, national security experience so the fact that he thought he could do it is still 4 years later kind of an amazing thing. the question who is barack obama, the other thing i'm thinking about he's somebody who has changed parof ts wek is measure of what's happened in the last couple of yores. they're been gain, a more fluent and canny politician. there's been -- he wanted to be
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an original figure on the american scene to challenge the nature of politics. we've seen a lot of that. >> charlie:one of the 'big challenges he faces at this convention. let me go to the young barack obama you can chased around the world. did you see this quality. >> question i did. he came out of hawaii, sohis's this laid back aspect to it. you didn't see any of the political part of him at all in high school or college compared to bill clinton who was running for office in high school his principal got sick of it. obama was playing pass ket ball and smoking pot. even in playing basketball he thought he was better than he was. he thought he was a starter. he was really the nice guy on the team. that's satisfied got him to the white house. it's anssential prtofho he is and it came out of him
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actually just the opposite of clinton. barack obama spent 10 years of his early life trying to figure himself out. all of the contradiction tion that the world through at him. all of his internal contra did i goes from the time he left hawaii at age 18 until law school at 28. introspective. that period gave him the satisfied to get to the white house and got him in trouble. >>charlie:and alsgave him the abity to write the book he didbecause he thought about who he was. >> in the way bill clinton never did. he was reinvent himself every morning. foregive himself and the rest of the world not deal with the contradictions of himself and he was able to get to the white house ak survivor, figuring out how to keep reinventing himself. that got him into trouble in the white house. two opposite figures. obamas is cool and clinton is hot and same temperature inside.
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that's what jodi brilliant piece proved again. >> charlie:had you look at him today in terms of how he sees romney. >> he's so can scaping in private increasing in public the last couple of days. there's a a kind of derision towards romney that comes through. he will sort of make fun of mitt romney talked about convention in tampa pa said it was like watching something on black and white tv, his point a throw back. >> charlie:back to the past. >> part of obama's frustration is the race is something pretty close to a dead heat. obama is a little ahead in the swing states. i think he can't believe that the republicans are doing as well as they are. look at mitt romney. >> charlie:they can't believe he's doing as well he is because of the economy. >> that's true.
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>> balances private. in private as well. but you know, that he has a kind of contempt. for the republican argument that even whe he tries to be the kind above it all president has a way of bleeding through. >> sarcasm. i don't know contempt might be too strong but he's got this sar donic sarcastic nature internally he doesn't show. it's coming out now, you're right. that's something he got from his mother. >> charlie:what do the two think of each other, first bill clin on and barack obama. >> events have conspired to bring them together. clinton loves to be needed. >> charlie:they need each other. >> as much he needs to be loved. >> charlie:right. >> obviously, in 2008 there was enormous tension there and so many interesting psychological dynamics to it. here we had bill clinton spent his entire political ka rear
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taking pride in his relationship with the african american community. quote unquote black president. now comes along a real potential black president. that was part of it. got in fights over race in vk r vk. he bitterness bill clinton had after the election cannot be underestimated. over 4 years, obama has needed clinton more and more. >> charlie:in the beginning he was disappointed. he was not called on more often. >> yes. >> charlie:bush called on him more than obama did. >> he was by -- it had chaipg the dynamics hilary working with president obama. >> part of what's interesting about the relationship, goes back such a long way much longer than people do. when barack obama was running toward senate there are quotes him saying '96 convention in
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chicago. >> charlie:the congressional race he ross. >> before that bobby rush endorsed him -- clinton endorsed bobby rush. >> charlie:that was the first election which he lost. >> and that was a special insult because for the president of the united states to interfere with a democratic primary clinton was the giant squashing like a bug. >> charlie:other days you during the impeachment. >> he saw clinton as part of a machine. '96 convention is for sale quoted in the newspaper saying. clinton's policy was just another way for throwing poor people under the bus. so he has this kind of philosophical objection to clin on earlier in his life that i'm not sure -- i'm not sure he has anything nor more. i don't think anybody has asked him in an interview. it would be fascinating to ask the president. >> qul he changed. >> charlie:changed his
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attitude about president clinton. >> and the clinton way of doing things. retail politics, compromise incrementalism. >> i think he learned those lessons. >> charlie:what is about president obama those who watch him closely he doesn't lie business. when business people come to the white house they feel like they simply are there to listen to him rather than to learn from them. and that he has a certain disdain from business. is that true or not? >> i think it's partly true. i think there's somewhat of a misperception about his own life story in business. his grandmother was a banker. even his mother was a banker. so there are these financial world connections in his own family. he did write a letter when he was in new york working for his one private enterprise, business international he was working for the enemy, quote unquote. so there was a little bit of
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that sensibility to him. >> charlie:a relationship businessmen that helped him get elected. >> very much so. >> charlie:he had the whole process. >> right. he considers him seaf writer. he has a writer's sensibility. there are some things he disdains and the business world is part that. >> charlie:other than the book he has written that everybody loved, the first book, is he a good writer? >> well -- >> charlie:one good story in him. >> that's always a good question about people (laughing) whether they can do it twice. i wouldn't call his second book well-written. >> charlie:that was campaign -- >> i looked at a lot of the letters he wrote as a young man. they're pretty well written. i would say he has another book in him but not about politics. that was the problem with the second book. it was a campaign document. >> charlie:he would define himself as a writer. >> what i mean by that he has a
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writer's sensibility where you're participating but observing at the same time so he's looking at himself playing politics and seeing the ser eelism of it at the same tme he's participating. >> charlie:i once said david axle rod that -- we will see him again in charlotte. he was almost watching himself. >> yes. >> charlie:as he walked out there. >> that's such a hard quality to have in the president sivment the nature of the presidency is everybody is watching you. >> cite. >> and watching you every minute. thr times i heard about obama trying to step out of the role of presidency and be a normal person. valerie once told me can i ask you something not as the president of the united states but js as barack. >> charlie:there was also the story somebody wrote about when somebody went in and said, you know, what will we call you if
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you get elected thinking -- you can continue to call me barack. >> no way. that's just a lot of levels to that. >> there's been an interesting compromise because people feel kawlt between the informality. mr. president is -- a lot of friends have set eled on potis. >> charlie:what is the dynamic of michelle obama and barack. >> what's fascinating is how it changed in the white house. when you were interveeg the president on cbs i was struck by what he said had happened though his relationship in the white house. it was consistent when i had heard which is the white house does tend to draw presidential couples together. the presre is extraordinary. only person you can trust let down your guard with. obamas such enormous challenges.
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before the white house they had more of a dialectic. this was fascinate bg their relationship. the president believed politics could be a vehicle for change and the political life could be livable. the first lady did not believe that politics was a valid viable way of creating social change, that political life was livable. all these years it's almost like their marriage is an extended debate wher they're trying to figure out the answer to those questions. she, i think, has been converted. michelle obama who hesitated about moving to the white house, who felt unease with politics had a rough first year behind-the-scenes as first lady. has found she is fact kind of a master of the forum. >> charlie:and kind of popular. >> what i would say about michelle not in terms of their internal dynamics of the relationship but what she represents for barack obama and the country, he came out of a ip
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probable and exotic life and michelle is normality. she's the conventionali he wanted in his life. it's important she projects that tonight, that he's not this strange guy. he's part of a strong nuclear family. and i'm a regular person and so is he. >> charlie:hi spoke to them in an interview they very much wanted me to know or make the case for themselves that he very much liked campaigning, that he loved the ebb and flow, lved being out there, he loved all of that. yet at other times people say he doesn't, he has a certain distance and that he has a problem connecting. >> i think it's changed. the 2008 campaign was a two-year long forced march. it was terribly difficult it was a long primary. he did have to force himself to campaign. a funny thing happened in the white house you could hear in
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interviews by the end of the come pain everything in the obama world had a thank god this is over now we can go to the promised land, which is the white house. fast forward you start hearing people miss the campaign. we miss the excitement, magic, connect. >> charlie:missed the poetry. >> missed the poetry, et cetera, et cetera. the president seems much more enthused and assured. >> well he would rather be with loving crowd than with congress. >> and mitt romney has done a guy tban particular favor. we were talking how difficult it was for barack obama to connect until mitt romney turned owp on the scene. >> grading writing about give him. >> charlie:he said in an interview yesterday first 4 years was incomplete. that he hadn't finished what he
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wanted to to. i was interviewing paul ryan exactly that's a reason not to re-elect him right there. he couldn't complete the job therefore put somebody in the white house who can complete the job. how do you think he rates himself over the first four years? and can he take a realistic look? is he sew pragmatic and you have to be where he sits. >> so what grade would he giveh? i think he gave himself a b. >> basically. >> i think he knows what he didn't do. but what's fascinating. >> charlie:and has he has to do. >> what they're saying the problem was they weren't explaining it to the public, that's their whole thing now. if that's true, then thursday night is first big chance, do it. >> the thing that really came across in my reporting is how a
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feeling of lack of recognition of a kind of disconnect with the american people, heard about meetings where obama and his economic team would find out a lot of americans had thought they had raised taxes when in fact they lowered them. at one point obama makes this gesture of almost submission like what do we have to do to get the american people to understand what we really did. that's part of his come maint with the media. >> given the benefit of the doubt, for whatever failures they've ton in that regard, it's harder than ever for a president to break through all that stuff. that's not an sceut. >> charlie:even president clinton has said you have to have the capacity to smain things. some will argue if he explained health care better it would be more popular. it's easy to get the policy right than the story write. >> i think that goes to the obama you have written about.
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this guy is a fundamentally a solo artist. that's how he forged ahead. >> charlie:where did that come from, the lifestyle he had early? >> very much sew. >> charlie:and he had to depend on himself. >> completely. never knew his father. two loving he would lerl tbrand parents who had problems. >> charlie:i want bill clinton -- how intelligent he was and his answer was interesting, what i know is how to connect the dots, very useful in my profession of politics. how would you define either the similarity or the difference in the obvious intelligence of both of these people, one we'll hear on wednesday and one on thursday? >> barack obama has an amazing talent for synthesis. he is able to absorb. it is a joke that republicans say, oh he has to release his law school grades because they suspect they're not good.
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i suspect they're dazzling because his ability to process a complicated amount of information, to read a complicated scenario, to think deeply about that, it's deeply improssive. people in the white house speak of his respect masteries of incredibly difficult problems. >> i agree with that. it's the trap republicans go after those grades. smartest -- >> charlie:one of the smartest they ever had. >> i agree. he's very good at sin theys sis he's not quite as good at sort of emotional intelligence. i think that he can connect with anybody. i really do but he's not a good actor at it as clinton was. >> charlie:not as good as emotional intelligence as clinton. >> he's the best i've ever seen. he can be terrific at reading you, loving you and go out of the room and say you're the
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biggest jerkt a character trait? >> but they're both him. that's the thing. it's not like the one went out of the room and diminished you was like that's the real mean clinton, the guy dealing with you nicely was the same one. >> charlie:if you're in politics, it's a skill. >> and barack obama tends to show more of both krrchlt here is the interesting thing about experience, lots of republicans and give him lots of credit for leadership in foreign policy. suggesting that we overdo experience, we give it too much weight. and he's very much believed he was up for the job. >> i want to mention one for factor foreign policy involves a lot less of congress. this is a president who really does not love -- not love -- >> charlie:is it disdain, contempt? >> one of those very strong
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words for his feeling for congress for horse trading. >> charlie:some people said he should have more ability to reach out to these peoples ndon johnson could and others. we miech had a settlement of these great issues in terms of debt ceiling. >> it's interesting he thought he could unify washington not being a washington person. generally, the way things work in washington is the people who are most about bipart son are people with longest experience, invest a lot of time and very small gestures that don't bring an immediate pay i don't have that work in long run. that's not really for president. >> the irony there you have to have a certain imbalance to be good that transactional poll ticks. bill clinton had it, you have to be needy. you have to need people so much. >> charlie:you want to be loved. >> so here is president obama who would rather be with his
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family from 6 to 8 at 9 than sh moozing with congressmen. from the outside world that's a he healthy thing, right but in politics it's not. >> charlie:also, you want to get the job done. you're there and it's the price you have to pay like campaigning. >> that's right. he's learning tat. more than anythingels he want to succeed, he wants to be a great president. whether they get there is the other thing. the drive will make him change and do some things not as natural to thim. >> if he ip wins there's going to be a fascinating moment after the election. paul ryan says he the intellectual leader of the house barack obama wins the next day after trying to spit on paul ryan -- is he actually it turns congressman ryan we have some common ground i guess haven't been discussing these last couple of months. >> charlie:thank you jodi, thank you david.
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great to have you here. back in a moment. stay with us >> charlie:two jourm washington who know and love politics dan balz chief correspond ene.j. dionne our divided political heart. i am pleased to have both of them back on this program. the idea america has this balance between individualism and community. democrats have done tt. that the republican somehow has shifted more. teal me where that debate might end up in this coming presidential election? >> well, i think it's at the heart of the argument in the election. i think from the beginning our country has been both these things. we have this healthy tension. we believe in community and doing things together. think that i ideologies, both parties had elements of both over the years. the republicans have moved to very different position. different from traditional cons
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ser have a tism. a sharply diminished role for government not like anything we have seen since the guilded age. they want to build up what has been a long consensus in our history from teddy roosevelt through reagan and george w. bush where they saw government doing certain things. bush prescription drug benefit and no child left behind. this election is a more fundamental choice than we have seen in the very lopping time. not unlike the gold war campaign where goldwater was out there with a hard position. obama mass a bad economy around his neck. underlying the cam bain is a deep philosophical. >> charlie:both people think they're on the winning side, do they not dan? >> you're absolutely right. both feel if the other side wins, it's the end of the america they believe in. if you go around and talk to
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people, so much of this is fear that the others might succeed. we did aollg ojecwith the kaiser family foundation and one of the things it showed the deep division between the two parties, deeper than we've seen in many, many years. there was one question we asked and that is, do you believe that your values and your point of view is winning or losing? it was the only place where republicans, democrats and inched ep penitentiaries all agreed 60% he have each thought the other side was winning and they were losing. there's fear one way or another fundamental to each side is at risk. >> charlie:what's peculiar about that. >> i think dan's right is barack obama is fundamentally a balanced guy. this not an ultraleftist. some conservative think he is. many of the criticisms early on were that he wanted to be too accommodating to the
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republicans. his health plan is basically like mitt romney's plan and yet you you still have this perception on the republican side if they lose this election it's some great loss of the country. you wonder if thr some identity politics, things connected to that as well. >> charlie:let's assume for this question that romney losses, the republican party becomes what. >> that is great question. it could go a couple different ways. one is it could be a revival not moderation. the party is now main stream conservatives and hard right conservatives. the question is would it give more power back to the mainstream conservative? the other is if romneyuns a mpaignhat the conservatives feel is not sufficiently robust and he got criticism from the right for an acceptance speech that they think was not robust enough in terms of laying out the ideological division.
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if that's the view you will have a situation we just didn't have the right conservative candidate and we have a whole crop of younger rising stars within the party who can articulate that in a stronger. >> charlie:marco rubio paul ryan chris kri at this. >> romy complicated that argument by putting paul ryan on the ticket. if he had picked more moderate conservative like rob port man thean that would have held a lot of water. it's going to be harder for them. some of it depends there are still some moderate conservatives in the party. some people in the senate in particular possibly even speaker boehner who are not fully happy with this direction and if they lose, especially if they lose significant number of seats in the house, that might create some questioning in the party whether this conservative path was right. in the primaries is in (pow
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where snt right. most of the -- >> charlie:the democratic party if president obama wins, how is it different than the democratic party than president clinton? >> in a lot of ways people talk about how different obama and clinton are. in so many ways thr similar. >> charlie:in temperament. >> they're very different in temperament. >> charlie:yes just estaished that. >>f you gave obama a shot of clinton empathy and clinton a shot of obama discipline, you would have the perfect democratic politician [laughing] >> they are both awesome in their ways but need the other. in terms of their philosophical view. i did an interview with obama in 2007 where he praised clinton for correcting the cost of the temmic party. there's going to be interesting arguments about how far should you go to reach a budget deal?
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how much should you give up? i don't think there's any clarity about how far obama will go and a lot of liberals will wonder will he give away too much. we may repeat some of the arguments. >> charlie, i think the democratic party has changed since bill clinton was president in many ways he would agree with those changes because of what's happened with the republican party. >> charlie:it's moved from where to where. >> in the clinton sense, mr significantly new democratic party than have been to a somewhat more liberal or progressive party. not far left in a lot of ways but i think it has moved. there's certainly much more scep sism about trade issues than when bill clinton was president. i think the only real division we saw in 2008 primary between president obama and hillary
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clinton was over her war vote and on a lot of domestic policies there was not great disreemt. ihink there was a shift during the '90s, during president clinton's time. the democratic leadership council on the rise. after the war the progressive part of the party and grass roots became a strong voice. i think that's melded into one. the question is, and i think it gets to the heart of what you're asking, whether obama wins or loss by 2016, what will this party look like? move back toward where it was under clinton? stay where it is. part that will depend on what the repuicans are doing. >> i agree with dan on almost everything i find hard evidence of democrats moving to the left. people are looking at what are the fruits of that. you still have passed some trade deals. if you hook at the health care bill, this was a much more
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conservative bill than richard nixon's in the '70s so you're not seeing anything that radical or left from the democrats. there are frustrated progress rif with obama. >> i'm not saying it's a left wing party. i think that the balance of power or the locust of power shifted after president clinton because of the war. and how that affected the grass roots and the sentiment, the rise -- >> charlie:clinton will speak on wednesday night and you have said in 8 questions, number thee was, will bill clinton overshadow everwri one else? is there risk in that? >> i don't think he will. i think heill be a huge figure when he comes on stage wednesday night. le get an enormous reception as he always does. he is a shrewd and smart politician. he knows the role he is being
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asked to play hear and my guess is he will play it effectively. it is very hard to overshadow a a president at his own convention. >> that question has been asked about bill clinton since 1992 and other conventions. in some ways, the president's speech is most important but cntos comes awfully close. he can speak to con stin went sis that obama can himself particularly white working class voters who are more in may because of who mitt romney. >> charlie:can clinton speak to them better than biden? >> i think clinton can speak to them better than biden because he speakings as the bill clinton who presided over a great economy. >> charlie:right. >> effective. biden is very effective with the people. >> charlie:organized labor. because of the trade and other issues. >> no, but he has a kind of trust among working class democrats. >> i think biden connects with
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those voters on a tbut level. >> charlie:yeah. >> i think clinton is still the best articulator of why the economic policies of this administration. >> charlie:and explain it better. >> barack obama win the working class and can he win catholics? >> i always say there is no catholic vote in its importance. they're classic0-40 group. it's very hard for tem to get less than 40% and republican 40% but the march tbins matter. latinos are a huge part of the equation. in the end because of latinos i think obama will still carry the catholic vote this time overall. how much do these arguments over contraception affect him? at the margins, a little bit and i think the pressure from some of the hierarchy on obama and
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some mishandlingf the catholic hierarchy by obama will hurt him a little bit. catholics have always been lunch bucket voters, particular little the swing catholics, they're economic voters. their votes in the end will be moved by the case obama can make about how he is going to move the country forward on economics better than romney. >> i don't know that president obama can do better with white working chas vote rs. even given governor romney's problems with that group because of his background. the reality is he doesn't have to. the demographics of this country are changing and they change election by election. there will probably a larger share of this elect temperature nonwhite. >> charlie:then you can make the the argument president obama is appeal to go america has become where as governor romney is appeal to go where america
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was? can you make it that clear? >> well our friend is an expert on all this basically said the obama coalition is the rising america. those constituencies. >> charlie:each case of the american. >> it's latinos, younger voters. and he does particularly well or better than many democrats have done in the past with very well educated white voters. >> i agree with all of that. the one state where the white working class really matters happens to be ohio which happens to be arguably the most porn state in the country along with pennsylvania which obama has to hold. even though the trends are exactly as dan describes owe ohio matters. >> and in ohio there's very little ee last tit in that electorate in comparison to in '04 and '08.
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the elect temperatures tbreu because of voter registration. you're fighting over the same pool of voters. it's a great battleground and laboratory for where we are. >> charlie:are all the undecided former obama voters? >> probably most of them are. >> charlie:there are that's why we had the appeal by governor romney in highs speech for those people who voted before trying to figure out how to make it comfortable to come over and chaipg their vote even though they had strong feelings and deeply felt the expectation they had from president obama. >> i felt those wrr the most effective lines at the convention. the question i have is almost this psychological question is that these people need comfort for changing their minds like it's a divorce? ill think people seriously but i'm not quite like that. one of the reasons they haven't gone all the way over to romney yet is a lot of those voters do know he inherited a very bad
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economy so they cut him some slack. a lot of those voters do have doubts about the direction romney wants to take. they did a very clever kind of psychological thing with them, reassurance, is it mainly about psychology or about circumstances andssues? >> charlie:i would bet that's part of the mission bill clinton has tomorrow night. >> absolutely. >> i think that's right. >> charlie:to get you two to agree with me thank you, dan. thank you, e.j. back in a moment stay with us >> form he were strt conducted more than 2,000 surveys and focus groups. i am pleased to have him back on this program. >> thank you. i am tired that's a lot of focus groups and surveys. >> charlie:give me your overall sense of where we are at the -- thank you the republican
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convention halfway through the democratic. >> dead even. chosest states barack obama one or 2 point lead. 46-46 race. barack obama has proven in this campaign he does understand people but he hasn't proven he can solve their problems. mitt romney has done a good job demonstrating he's a problem solving but hasn't been successful in demonstrating he gets those problems. that's why we're split split 50. >> charlie:is there an idea whose future they want to invest in. >> we asked that question and the answer is they really wanted barack obama to succeed. they believed in that hope and change. >> charlie:because of the picture, the narrative of barack obama. >> all of it. the communication skills. the problem is, what they see now. if you came to my sessions it would break your hear
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it's no longer anxiety, it's depression, despair. they stopped being angry, now they're rieg to survive. they look at these 2 individuals and don't trust either of them. as bad as barack obama might feel, congress is hated more. >> charlie:hasn't that always been so. >> not cadaver if i had a 14% approval raifting and that's among people who killed him. we have kok to believe politics don't workt, our systems are broken. as i look at the communication, there's nothing that says, i made a mistake. i got a wrong. i apologize now let me get it right. >> charlie:i read a usa interview with president obama and he talked about the fact he thinks the country is not caught up in the eye lee logical divide but caught up in the idea why things don't work, which is dysfunction in washington. there are partisan feelings about democrats and republicans
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but it's not an ideological thing. is that true? >> in statistics 2 to 1more americans identify themselves as conservative. >> charlie:i'm say ideological in terms of extreme of either party. >> they don't want that. this election is not going to be decided by the extremity bull the people dead center who believe in a right of center economic approach and a leave us alone on social issues. so they're closer to barack obama on sewingal closer to mitt romney on economic issues so they're torn. >> charlie:bait way there's a difference between independent and affiliated. >> check democratic and choose both. unaffiliated says i don't care. ly follow this on election day and that's t the problem is neither candidate is speak to go them in a way they want to be spoken to, or talking to them the words they want to hear.
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>> charlie:tell me about focus group. define and how you create it. >> i do it differently. mine are 25 or 30 people, three hours at a time. devices the size of a remote control and turn it up or down based on whher they agree or disatbree, persuaded or not persuaded. we measure an individual's moment by moment opinion, what they're seeing visually, what they're hearing, allows us to break down every ad and every speech. on the floor three hours i have people crying, people yelling at each other. >> charlie:take a look. set thup for me. this is an ad obama keeping his word on equal pay signing equal pay for women. what should we notice about this ad. >> first off it's the best of the campaign. it's one of the reasons he has such a good advantage among
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women. no matter what happens in the election obama is going do better than mitt romney. the red line are swing republicans tbreen swing democrats. the higher the lines climb the more favorable the ad. >> charlie:roll ad here it is. >> the problem in these cases isn't that the woman is somehow unqualified. they're doing the same job with the same qualifications and they're being paid differently. the problem is employers aren't treating women fairly. that needs to be changed and i will chaipg it when i'm president of the united states of america. [applause] >> signing this bill today is to send a clear message making our economy work is making sure it works for everybody.
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♪ >> charlie:so it's red and green. >> there's sew few ads maybe 1%h both parties because we are twied. the reason it's pow woreful. you hear his voice, see him speaking and see the record. >> charlie:you see the promise and the performance. >> exactly. the next ad to look at america for prosperity. 2008 obama voters discuss why they have become disillusioned with his presidency. >> in 2008 i voted for barack obama. he was new had new ideas. now that we've given obama a fair chance and he's not able to do what we need him to do. >> he's doingen mediocre job.
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economy is the same. >> obama said he was going to help the middle class. that's where i am. instead it has hurt me. >> i have not seen the change i believed in. >> american for prosperity is responsible for the content of this advertising. >> charlie:what did we see. >> i didn't see the hope and chaipg i voted for. i'm the middle class and it hasn't helped. what's different about that ad. we have done it in two sessions that's been the best tested ad of all those tried. it's real people. they are not actors. they embre why they voted for obama in 2008 and tell you how life has changed since then. this is key. if you rip the bark off your opponents in the first 2 or 3 seconds no one is going to pay attention. if you have this deep announcer that sounds like the movie jaws. >> charlie:you have to draw them in first. >> you have to draw them in and you have to appeal to the
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public's decency first before you deliver the analysis of why the opponent failed. >> charlie:you and i talked before at cbs this morning about this ad about the coffin. why is that powerful? >> it's so powerful one minute ad done by i think it was families usa. >> charlie:right. >> which is super pack. >> it's done on behalf of obama. he talks about building a stage with his colleagues, ceo of the companies comes on the stage firesever ri one and closes the plant. he says mitt romney made millions and mills of dollars he felt like he was building his own coffin and it made me sick. it was the end of the ad. you see this grown as someone who is very real talks about
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what bain capital did. single best ad. if barack obama wins in november and he wins because of ohio, it will be because of that ad. >> charlie:and they got it early as mitt romney was being defined. a lot of money on that advertising. some people will argue that mitt romney had to spend a lot of his time talking about himself because he has been defined by these kinds of ads therefore did not spend enough time talking about the future at the convention. >> and i think he let others define what bain capitol is. he never defended economic freedom. >> charlie:didn't have the money to do that or some other reason? >> could have been independent expenditures. i don't think he took it seriously. referendum on the obama administration. >> charlie:which is what they wanted. >> it's lake the rolling stones song you can't always get what
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you want and if you try sometimes you don't get what you need. >> charlie:how powerful is this that it came up over the weekend are you better now than 4 years ago? >> it's brilliant. a significant percentage aren't better off than they were four years ago. if you changehe question from you to the country, is america better or worse off. the romney campaign is on to something, it's not just you, me and the people here. it's the country. and barack obama is responsible for the country. >> charlie:you're not the only person in the world who does focus groups. romney people must understand this. >> i'm the only one who does them where people yell at each other, people go out afterwards for beers. it's a science, not just an art, a science of understanding how peop react. if you listen carefully, the key to the best research is
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listening and maybe they didn't hear it or maybe they didn't ask the right questions but i will tell you something, it's deep and the reason why obama has the advantage is because they still think he's trying. >> charlie:the word they use is "care" too. you're going to argue with cares, try something. >> that's what they say to me. word they use to describe his administration, disappointed. not betrayed, not harsh neg tivment heistryi. not that he's failed. he hasn't succeeded and we're disappointedded in him. he has a shot of winning that's undecided voters. in mitt romney's case he's a problem solver. ip i'm not convinced he understands me, that he understands those who work for a living. romney. >> charlie:suppose you were -- dial back to sort of the middle of the republican primary and
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yore trying to mitt romney both win the primaries which is a fruitful step for you of which there is no end, only an end if you don't win but if you win you have another step. what would you have done? how would you have tried to define yourself. >> chutely i would have gone at my business career, focus on that. not governor of massachusetts. only one out of 5 knew about bain capitol. he should have known 4 out of 5 would have known. >> charlie:here is the analogy you could make. we just watched the olympics. they love people who work hard and try and win. people who come back are the winners so we like winning. how would you define the pis story if it's not a story of the american success story? >> the crux of the campaign. it's not that i won.
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it's that you won. >> charlie:because we were successful. >> you were successful. we invested in staples it became an incredible company. it's about you, all about them watching me. if it becomes about him, he loses because then he's just a rich guy. >> charlie:so he missed the opportunity to say, it was not my success, it was your success. the mean and women who work at sports authority or staples or wherever. >> you going into politics? >> charlie:that's the point. it always comes back to how peel feel, do they understand me, do they care about me, do they know i want what's betr for my family. >> there are two great quotes number 1 is people will forget what you said to them but they will never forget how they made you feel. >> charlie:who said that. >> nelson mandela. >> charlie:let me repeat that people will forget what you said about them but will never forget
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how you made them feel. >> it's not what you say it's what people hear. >> charlie:i like it. >> that's mine.charlie:that's y? >> it's not has you say -- in this discussion here, it will be what ople remember, what people heard from me rather than what i said that matters. >> charlie:so it's what you hear. >> exactly. >> charlie:thank you. good to see. thank you for joining us. see you next time. ÷2
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Charlie Rose
PBS September 4, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

News/Business. (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)

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on 9/5/2012